shotgun definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- a smoothbore gun, usually used for firing a charge of shot at short range, as in hunting small game
- Football an offensive formation, esp. for passing, in which the quarterback takes the snap while standing several yards behind the line of scrimmageoften shotgun formation
transitive verb, intransitive verb
to shoot, force, or threaten with a shotgun
- done or made under duress
- with no fixed direction or target
- designating a long, narrow house, apartment, etc. with rooms arranged one behind the other
shotgun definition by American Heritage Dictionary
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
- A smoothbore gun that fires shot over short ranges. Also called scattergun.
- Football An offensive formation, used especially for passing, in which the quarterback receives the snap several yards behind the line of scrimmage.
- Southern U.S. A house whose architecture is characterized by several rooms joined in a straight line from the front to the back: “Shotguns [are] so named because a shotgun fired through the front door of these long, narrow homes could pass straight through the house and out the back door without hitting any barriers” (Melissa O. Fryauf). See Regional Note at beignet.
- Of, relating to, or using a shotgun.
- Obtained by or involving by coercion: a shotgun compromise.
- Covering a wide range in a haphazard or ineffective manner: shotgun methods of testing the hypothesis that wasted time and money.
To shoot at with a shotgun.
shotgun - Phrases/Idioms
In addition to the idiom beginning with shotgun, also see ride shotgun.
- Historical in the W U.S., to go along as an armed guard, esp. with the driver of a stagecoach
- to accompany for protection, as in the front seat of a motor vehicle